2020 was set to be the year of mezcal by all projections, ours included. We had a whole membership recruitment plan for our non profit project The Mezcal Collaborative and plans to make Mezcal Week, the primary fundraising event for the Collaborative, the biggest one yet. Mezcal Week has always been a grassroots effort, and each year it has gained more traction. This year was looking to be no different and we had exciting plans to coordinate efforts with London Mezcal Week as well as with other organizations.
And then of course everything changed, and the Collaborative was put on hold as were plans for Mezcal Week as we focused on how to just survive until there was some clarity on when we might return to some kind of normal, like everyone else in the industry. By June it became clear there would be no return to normal. I am not going to lie, it became nearly impossible to concentrate on the business of Mezcal when so much of my immediate world was exploding around me. If I thought it was already had raising a bi-racial boy in these times, the murders of Breona Taylor and George Floyd blew the lid off the long brewing tempest and unleashed a category five hurricane whose consequences we have yet to fully understand. For Max, Ferron, Tess and I it was a month of deep soul searching to figure out what our place was in this constantly shifting world, and whether what we did really mattered. It was quite an existential crisis but a necessary one to get us to the other side.
By July we decided we needed to do Mezcal Week, even if it would be a fraction of the size of any previous year. We also decided to wave all registration fees, knowing what bars and restaurants were already dealing with and how non existent every brand’s marketing budget was. We had to quickly update the Mezcal Week website, as we were simultaneously in the midst of re-launching the new Mezcalistas website, and we had to get the word out to folks. By early August, events started trickling in. We are now up to almost 80 events taking place all over the US and in London. These events run the gamut from cocktail specials, to take home kits, to special pricing on bottle sales, to dinners, to art openings, and pottery sales, to tasting flights and talks to dinner and a movie and even a cocktail contest – there is something for everyone..
It all gets underway tomorrow, September 8th and goes till September 15th. Be sure to check the map and directory at the Mezcal Week website for a full listing of all events and follow us on Instagram at @mezcalweek. And if you don’t see something happening near you, there is no reason you can’t celebrate – make a cocktail at home, or buy a bottle or two, or even better yet, support your favorite local bar or restaurant and order a flight or sip or cocktail. Take a picture of however you are celebrating and tag @mezcalweek and #mezcalweek.
Qué haces afuera?
Vamos pa’ dentro!